11 Wardrobe Basics You Won’t Want to Live Without

Recently a potential client told me that even though she said she had a closet full of new clothes, she felt like she didn’t have a thing to wear.

She realized she hadn’t shopped with a plan. Knowing she wants start over, I suggested she probably needs some good basics, so I shared my post 11 Wardrobe Basics to Upgrade Your Personal Style with her. Be sure to check it out to see how to choose pieces that will work best for you.

I was surprised to see I’d written that post in 2015 and decided to update it. But you know what?

The basics haven’t really changed! Nevertheless, I’ll sharpen and shorten the concepts for you to digest quicker.

And new photos!

So what are wardrobe basics?

  • These are the pieces you can wear with almost anything.
  • These are the pieces that can make up a wardrobe without the addition of anything else.
  • These are the pieces you always see in the “must haves” lists.

Check out how to choose the best wardrobe basics for your style with tips on exactly what to look for! Psst…even though I’ve written “black” they don’t have to be black! Choose your favorite neutral, like black, brown or even camel.

Below is my list of basics that I recommend at least most wardrobes need.

Psst…Click through the photos to shop the items. Then click “products” at the top of the shopping page, and find even more of my recommendations!

  1. Little Black Dress: You can’t go wrong with the LBD!  It can easily go from the office to cocktails to every event in between! Little Black Dress/Wardrobe Basics
  2. Black pants: I don’t need to convince you on this one. Feel free to sub or add in a black skirt.

    Wardrobe Basics black pants

    Save, Spend, Splurge

  3. Jeans: An updated style can take you almost anywhere.
    Wardrobe Basics/Jeans

    Premium Denim is worth the price, but can often be found at discounted prices.


  4. Black pumps: They go with anything from jeans to your LBD. Don’t wear heels? Sub in simple flats that have structure and a rigid heel. And if you want to really go crazy, add pumps and ballet flats to your wardrobe!
    Wardrobe Basics Black Pumps

    The perfect go-to shoe!


  5. Gold/Silver hoops (medium size) or diamond, cz or pearl studs: These earrings serve as “neutral” grounding for your accessories,  and won’t compete with any necklace you might be wearing. Wardrobe Basics Hoop earrings
  6. Tailored blazer: Ideally you want this in the same color as your pants/skirt. This jacket will go over everything in your wardrobe from jeans to a dress. Check out how to update a “suit” for 2019. It’s not purely corporate anymore!
    Wardrobe Basics Tailored Blazer

    Save, spend, splurge


  7. White Blouse/Shirt: It  doesn’t have to be a white button-down. Just make it white or ivory!
    Wardrobe Basics white blouse

    It doesn’t have to have buttons!


  8. Perfect t-shirt: Quality and fit are key!

    Wardrobe Basics Perfect T

    Neutral is best, but choose a color that brings YOU joy!

  9. Cardigan Sweater: I love a good jacket, but a cardigan sweater is so much more comfortable and cozy some days. They’re professional layered for business casual and can be sexy sans a layer (um, buttoned) for  date  night!
  10. A knee length dressy coat: Kinda repeating myself, lol! It’ll go with everything! It could be a trench coat if you live in milder climates. You probably also need a winter coat otherwise. Wardrobe Basics Coat
  11. Swim suit: Even if you’re not a swimmer, you’ll need it for a tropical island getaway, the jacuzzi at a ski resort…or poolside at a corporate retreat.

If you’re a minimalist, these basics alone just may be enough! If you’re a maximalist, you might want multiples of these trusted staples!

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